Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Campus Notebook: A Step Forward on D.C. Autonomy

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman told Roll Call he hopes his committee will consider at its next business meeting his bill to unlink D.C.’s budget from the Congressional appropriations process.

D.C. voters approved a ballot initiative in 1998 endorsing a medical marijuana program in the city, but Congress blocked it from being implemented for 10 years via riders in appropriations bills.

Congress lifted the ban in 2009, setting the stage for a long and involved process.

Though the end is in sight, it will probably continue to stretch on a bit longer, especially as cultivation centers approved to grow the marijuana look to secure sites and begin producing the product.

Norton Fights for Expanded Commercial Filming on the Hill

The House passed its legislative branch appropriations bill Friday with language that would allow commercial filming at Union Square, the parcel of land at the West Front of the Capitol that was transferred to Congressional jurisdiction from the National Park Service almost six months ago.

But while Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) may be gratified by the decision to permanently grandfather in the NPS policy, she said she will continue to push to allow commercial filmmakers to turn their cameras on all areas of the Capitol.

“I have yet to hear a policy or security reason for limiting filming to Union Square, because there are none,” Norton said Wednesday. “Congress must go further and expand the permissible filming areas. It is time to bring the commercial photography and filming policy into the 21st century.”

Norton, who has argued that greater access to commercial filmmaking would be a boon for the D.C. economy, proposed an amendment to the legislative branch bill to expand permitting, but it was not made in order for House floor consideration.

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